kid child gun handgun
Previous Post
Next Post

By Brad Bushman and Sophie Kjaervik, The Ohio State University

Children who watched a 1-minute-long gun safety video were more cautious when they found a real handgun hidden in a drawer in our lab compared to children who watched a car safety video, according to our randomized clinical trial published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. We observed this difference even though children saw the gun safety video a week earlier at home and even after they had watched scenes from a violent movie in our lab.

We tested 226 children ages 8 to 12. By the flip of a coin, children watched either a gun safety video or car safety video alone at home. Both safety videos featured The Ohio State University Chief of Police in full uniform. Younger children tend to respect authority figures, especially those in uniform.

Then a week later, pairs of kids – who were friends or siblings, for example – came to our lab at Ohio State to participate in what we told them was a study about what children do for entertainment.

First, the child volunteers watched scenes from a PG-rated violent movie. After 20 minutes, they went to a playroom furnished with toys and games like Lego and checkers. The room also contained a file cabinet with two disabled 9 mm handguns hidden in the bottom drawer. We told the kids they could play with any of the toys and games in the room and then left them alone. A hidden camera videotaped the children’s behavior.

By the end of 20 minutes, 96% of the children had found the guns. Children are naturally curious, and adults often underestimate their ability to find guns hidden in the home.

Chart: The Conversation, CC-BY-ND Download image Created with Datawrapper

Kids who saw the gun safety video (compared to the car safety video) were more likely to tell an adult (33.9% of kids vs. 10.6% of kids), less likely to touch a gun (39.3% vs. 67.3%) and held it for less time if they did touch it (42.0 seconds vs. 99.9 seconds). They were also less likely to pull the trigger (8.9% vs. 29.8%), and pulled the trigger fewer times if they did pull it (4.2 vs. 7.2).

Risk factors that raised the likelihood of engaging in unsafe behavior around the guns included being male, watching age-inappropriate PG-13 and R-rated movies, and interest in guns, as reported by parents.

We also identified several protective factors that made children less likely to engage in unsafe behavior around the guns. One was previous exposure to gun safety material in a course or video. Another was having guns in the home, which makes sense because surveys find that parents with guns are more likely to talk to their children about gun safety than parents without guns. Finally, having negative attitudes about guns, like believing they’re not cool or fun, made kids less likely to engage in unsafe behavior in our study.

What still isn’t known

Participants in this study watched the safety video about a week before they came to our lab. Future longitudinal research is needed to establish how long the protective effects of firearm safety videos might last.

To see if our results apply in other situations, future research should also be conducted in a more naturalistic setting – like the home – and with children of a variety of ages and from geographical locations beyond Ohio.

What other research is being done

Other research on children and gun safety primarily focuses on access to guns and responsible, safe and secure gun storage. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that gun owners store their firearms unloaded, locked up and separate from ammunition.The Conversation


Brad Bushman, Professor of Communication, The Ohio State University and Sophie Kjaervik, Ph.D. Candidate in Communication, The Ohio State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. quote———-Participants in this study watched the safety video about a week before they came to our lab. Future longitudinal research is needed to establish how long the protective effects of firearm safety videos might last.———quote

    Studies like this are nothing new nor are the long range results. In 1962 our class was given a video on violent car crashes and deaths even showing a rescue worker picking up a severed hand laying in the road at a crash site. In several weeks the kids forgot all about the video and when they got their driver’s licenses 2 years later at age 16 they were some of the most unsafe drivers on the road. The video accomplished nothing for most of them.

    The real key of course is to keep guns locked up when children are in the home but the far right parents are so paranoid they would rather risk losing a child or a neighborhood child that came over to play than to keep deadly weapons locked up. There is zero excuse for ever letting an unattended firearm in the house and I mean zero excuse. If you are that worried about an attack then carry the damn weapon on your person. But when did the paranoid Far Right ever have any common sense at all?

    • “The real key of course is to keep guns locked up when children are in the home”

      The real key of course is to keep dacian locked up away from children.

      • “but the far right parents are so paranoid they would rather risk losing a child or a neighborhood child that came over to play than to keep deadly weapons locked up.”

        but the far left parents are so paranoid about their kids being trans they would rather risk losing a child or a neighborhood child by forcing them into ‘transitioning’ drug and/or later surgery that has resulted in the last two years, on a per-population basis, in more harm to children than any gun did in the last 30 years.

        • “But when did the paranoid Far Right ever have any common sense at all?”

          Well since the number of left-wing anti-gun people being injured or killed by criminals without use of firearms is over 50 times greater than that of firearm owning and carrying right-wing I’d say the right wing has a lot more common sense than you or the rest of your anti-gun left-wing idiots. Face it, you and the rest of your anti-gun idiots are the stupidest people on earth to purposely make yourselves defenseless prey.

    • So you remember a video from 60 years ago that you completely forgot about within 2 years after watching?
      Or maybe the video did its job, stuck in some minds, and had a good effect on reducing risky activity among a group that is known to be very risky.
      You can’t really eliminate a bad behavior, just reduce it.

  2. And then there’s this. Clicked through to the abstract of the study only to find this drivel:

    “Firearms are the leading cause of death for children in the US. It is therefore crucial to identify effective ways to reduce firearm injuries among children.”


    • And pedophiles are bad for your kids! We just saw “Sound of Freedom”. Quite a good crowd for 11:30 Monday morning!!! Great great movie with lots of evil types getting their just rewards. It’s no wonder hollyweird is attempting to suppress it! It ain’t working perverts🙄

      • Amen on Sound of Freedom!!! We purchased bunch of Angel tickets at the local theater. Moms for Liberty is making sure they get to people who would like to see the movie but are strapped for cash.

        • We’re officially seniors(especially me)although my wife looks decades younger when she colors her gray hair. $7.50 per ticket. We counted 26 people on a Monday morning. Not EZ to watch but we try to support movies with a good or Christian message. Good on you!

  3. If I made a Gun Safety kiddie video envision an unauthorized kid who touched a gun and earned having their head held under water:) Firearms are a discipline, kiddies.

  4. But teaching gun safety is awful, icky, nasty, just like guns themselves! Ignorance is the gold standard of the libera education syndicate.

  5. My kids knew we had firearms. Most were in the safe. Those kept out for various uses were off limits. To deal with the curiosity factor, I would let the kids handle the firearm in a safe, double checked, unloaded condition. Then make it clear that they could only touch the firearms with direct permission and direct supervision. As they got older safe use of firearms was taught. But there was never a mystery or forbidden fruit aspect to firearms. They were tools just like the power saw or chain saw were tools. Dangerous if mishandled/misused. Same way I learned as a child. Same way I learned about farm machinery or power tools.
    My kids could be trusted with firearms at a young age. They could be trusted using a lawn mower or drill as well. Perhaps it was just luck, but more likely being taught to be safe with dangerous tools instead of being over protective and instilling a healthy respect instead of fear of such things was the better choice.

    • Sounds like what my father did with me, I always remember knowing that his .357 was in the top of his chest of drawers. I didn’t know what the name meant but knew it was a gun and I could only touch it if he handed it to me first. Never had a problem.

    • I totally agree, I use posthole digger, other hand tools, built a rabbit box as a preteen. Caught & processed said rabbits, to put in freezer as a preteen.
      I limbed tree for firewood with a five pound ax in grade school.
      Shot my first gun, a Ruger 22 German style side arm, when I was ten years old.
      A shot gun at a “Turkey Shoot”, again pre-teen, Lawn mow, drove a tractor, plowed a ten acre field & plowed with a donkey, planted & harvest a garden, Saddled & rode horses, all in pre-teens.
      I have carried a sharp pocket knife on my person every where , but school & court house from eight years old until today. I will be 63 in December , also cut bamboo for fishing pole & cured them straight & used them for years.
      Children can do a lot only if you will take the time to teach them.
      My Father had six children, everyone could cook, can or freeze vegetables, wash clothes’ & dishes, milk cows, chop wood, feed up live stock as pre-teens.
      We believe everyone did this, everyday, I was shock in middle school to find out some children knew nothing at twelve years old.

  6. Image how safe they would be if the public schools taught gun safety the same way they taught sex and driver’s education safety.

    In a classroom followed by being ‘behind the wheel’ with the real thing…

    • That ain’t how I learnt sex edumakashun. It was behind the classroom, not behind the wheel.

      • The NRA taught gun safety in Public school in the 1950’s.
        In the 1800 boys took flint locks to school for protection from wild
        animals. No record of one school shooting, no not one.

  7. Children must be taught. If that teaching comes from someone that does not care then nothing good will come from it. It doesn’t matter if it’s about guns or anything else in life.

  8. If you want to teach automotive and/or gun safety to children, take a lesson from the Navy in particular, and the military in general. I took a fire fighting course in boot camp. I took a fire fighting course at my first command, an isolated island duty station. I took a fire fighting course at my first seagoing command. I took ANOTHER two years later, before I left that command. Then I took a fire fighting refresher course at my new isolated duty command. And, when I left there, I was sent to BOTH a firefighting training, AND an advanced leadership training. Upon arrival at my next seagoing command, I was run through a firefighting refresher, then after a year passed, I was rotated through a firefighting course at the port we were stationed in.

    Hammer, hammer, hammer, again and again and again.

    That’s how you teach children important lessons. Get them in elementary school, at least once, better twice. Get them in junior high. Get them again in high school. Hammer, hammer, hammer. Teach them again, and again, and again, always upping the lesson to meet their skill levels.

    Oh, I should mention that the Navy also put me through the NHTSA driver safety course multiple times. Even in the military, life isn’t all about guns. Cars kill more sailors than guns do.

  9. “Research: Watching a 1-Minute Safety Makes Pre-Teens More Careful Around Firearms”

    Research & Known & Fact & Already being done for many years by lots of people: 1 minute safety education by gun owning parents and actual people who know something about guns and don’t hate them and don’t want to destroy the Constitution and know what a woman is makes Pre-Teens actually safe around guns and safer in life.

    “We tested 226 children ages 8 to 12. By the flip of a coin, children watched either a gun safety video or car safety video alone at home.”

    Maybe you guys should have concentrated more on the car safety video because a person (including children age 8 – 12) is ~1,500 times more likely to to be run over by a car if they are near a road way with car traffic than they are to be shot by a gun in the home accidentally or on purpose.

    A person is 1.2 million times more likely to be killed in a car accident than they are to use a gun to commit suicide OR accidentally shoot their self OR accidentally someone else.

    Outside the home the most likely source of accident or injury to children ages 8 to 12 is car accident. According to CDC, annually more than 63,000 children age 12 and under are seriously injured in car accidents.

    Inside the home the lest likely home source of accident or injury to children ages 8 to 12 is a firearm. Compared to the (collective) common commercial products and furniture found in homes, children ages 8 to 12 are ~1,800 times more likely to be injured or killed by common commercial products and furniture in the home than with firearms.

    Heck, just glass table tops alone are responsible for 2.5 million injuries annually requiring trauma center and emergency room treatment under age 7 – age 21 … and ~1.7 million of those are children 8 -12 (~3% of which die later due to complications from injuries due to the glass table top injuries), and collectively in that under age 7 – age 21 ~27,000 die as a direct cause of the injuries sustained.

  10. So the study concluded that the Eddie Eagle gun safety program should be implemented immediately in all schools…

    • the study basically concluded what the gun community concluded many years ago when we had ‘gun and hunting safety’ classes in schools. But nope, ‘how dare you teach kids anything about guns’ the left wing idiots said, no more ‘gun and hunting safety’ classes in schools the left wing said. And the next generation entered schools without ‘gun and hunting safety’ classes and suddenly children start to come into focus for the left-wing claiming ‘guns are the number one….” as part of their drive to ban guns.

      Its like de-policing under left wing policy, every time it happens violent crime goes up and the left wing claims the crime increase is due to guns so we must ban guns.

      Proven that mass-shooters are attracted to no guns zones, what does the left-wing do? Why of course, they make more no guns zones and disarm more law abiding citizens and put in place more anti-gun laws and mass shootings continue or increase. Then left-wing turns around and goes ‘we need to take guns from more law abiding people.”

      The left-wing literally causes the problem, then uses the problem to blame it on guns to drive their anti-gun agenda.

      The left-wing is literally trying to kill you folks.

  11. Back in the early to mid 70s when I was a kid, my dad took me shooting/plinking all the time. Actually back behind a river we live close to. Now, every thing and every where is so built up now, buildings and houses, thus people are everywhere now, so you can’t just go in the woods and target practice with a 22 or whatever anymore. Saying all this, say this, my dad kept pistols and rifles in the house. He taught me gun safety at a very early age. I knew as a kid dad had guns in the house, but it never ever crossed my mind to mess with them, unless he took me out to shoot them. I don’t know what had been going on with these new generation of kids, but something is definitely off. Parents, if you have guns in the house, please please teach your kids gun safety, and tell them what they need to know. Just saying.

  12. Gee, if a one-minute video call do they, imagine what a whole range day with Dad could do.

  13. If you have a MP-443 Grach in your nightstand like in the main picture, your child’s bigger problem is that their parent is involved with Russian Special Forces or Mafia.
    Cool gun, though. I don’t know of any other modern double stack, double feed handgun magazine.

Comments are closed.